Goldobin Earns Recall to Sharks as Barracuda Win Ninth-Straight Game
SAN JOSE — As Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier, Ryan Carpenter, Danny O’Regan, Barclay Goodrow, Marcus Sorensen, Mirco Mueller, Tim Heed and Joakim Ryan all received opportunities to strut their stuff in the NHL with the Sharks, Nikolay Goldobin sat back and patiently waited for his turn.
Apparently, good things do come to those who wait.
After his three-point night helped the Barracuda (28-11-4) earn a franchise record ninth-straight win with a 4-1 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners at the SAP Center, Goldobin received word Tuesday night that he will be recalled by the Sharks for the team’s bout with the Florida Panthers on Wednesday.
“I happy about that, but I’m holding the emotions inside,” Goldobin said.
“Hopefully, I’m going to play.”
With the reassignments of Meier, Heed and Sorensen to the Barracuda on Tuesday, the team knew an opportunity to join the Sharks on Wednesday could be on the line with general manager Doug Wilson in the building watching the contest from a luxury suite.
Goldobin acknowledged that he could smell opportunity and he pounced on it.
The 21-year-old Russian picked up his first point of the night when the Barracuda opened the game’s scoring at 11:14 of the first period. Goldobin got the play started by sending a drop pass back to Tim Heed at the top of the right circle, where the defenseman fed Rourke Chartier by faking a wrist shot and hitting him with a crisp feed in front.
The Russian sniper found the net 6:15 later on the power play, giving the Barracuda a 2-0 lead by going top shelf into a yawning net after Sorensen found him in the lower right circle with a nifty cross-ice pass.
“I think that was the highlight of the week, of the year maybe,” Goldobin said, referring to Sorensen’s beautiful pass through the slot.
“We’re like two brothers.”
Goldobin recorded his third point of the night when Sorensen put the team ahead 4-1 at 9:48 of the third period with the team’s third power play goal of the evening. Sorensen scored from the doorstep, pouncing on a loose puck after Goldobin sent a pass to Danny O’Regan in the slot that got lost in the speedy centerman’s skates.
“I thought he was the best player tonight on the ice for both teams,” head coach Roy Sommer said, referring to Goldobin.
With three points on Tuesday, Goldobin has now collected 12 points in his last nine outings.
The only goal that Goldobin didn’t play a hand in on Tuesday was Mirco Mueller’s first tally with the Barracuda this season, which came at the 5:32 mark of the second period while his team had the man advantage.
Mueller beat goalie Marek Langhamer with a wrist shot to the short side from the left faceoff dot after Ryan Carpenter hit him with a cross-ice pass through the high-slot area. The Barracuda finished the game 3-for-5 on the power play.
Goalie Troy Grosenick picked up a career-record eighth-straight win by stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced. His lone blemish came on a redirection from Michael Bunting on a Roadrunners power play at 18:55 of the first.
After that, the Barracuda penalty kill thwarted the Roadrunners seventh-ranked power play on five-consecutive opportunities. The penalty kill’s performance was even more impressive considering that its heart and soul, captain John McCarthy, was scratched from the contest with a day-to-day ailment.
“He woke up this morning and kind of wasn’t feeling right. I think he’ll be okay,” Sommer said, referring to his captain. “But he’s our main guy (on the penalty kill). I was kind of wondering how we would react, but everyone’s just kind of rolling right now.”
Although the Sharks reassigned Meier to the team on Tuesday, the team’s 2015 first-round draft pick didn’t suit up for the game. Sommer said Meier will “probably” return to the Sharks on Wednesday, which is why he didn’t play.
But the Barracuda’s coach commended Sorensen and Heed for producing strong efforts, and a combined four points, after getting sent down earlier in the day.
Oftentimes, players who are reassigned experience a lull in their first game back from the NHL.
“I haven’t seen that with these guys,” Sommer said. “The guys that they’ve sent down have come in and they’ve played hard, if not harder than the other guys.”
“They’re playing for one another and they’re having fun. We’re just kind of taking it a game at a time right now.”